Today we get to learn again from CWK contributor and photography teacher, Beryl Ayn Young. She’s an expert at helping moms and dads connect through the lens with their families. ~Alissa
My inspiration to pick up a camera was initially selfishly motivated by a desire to document and preserve the start of my adult life with my husband and our growing family. I wanted to take good photos so that I would have a visual diary of the events happening in our life.
Photography at the start was all about me and what what I needed.
However, the true joy and meaning behind my hobby came many years later when I got to watch the magic of my work light up my daughter’s eyes.
In 2012 I embarked upon a photo-a-day project through my iPhone. As I snapped photo after photo after photo knew I’d have to actually do something with the images eventually. After some thought I decided to have quarterly books of the images printed. To this day those books are some of her favorites in the house. Photography quickly transitioned from a hobby that was for me to a hobby that was also for her.
Seeing my daughter’s happiness as we’d flip through pages of memories together was an eye opener for me as a professional photographer and mom. To her it didn’t matter the quality of the images she was viewing, she simply wanted to remember the special people and places in her life.
Watching my daughter was the jolt I needed in this digital age, to get my photos OFF the camera, computer, and phone and finally do something with them.
Today I’m sharing some fresh ideas and inspiration with you for connecting with your child as you look at old memories together.
Make a Photobook
Photo books are a wonderful way to collect and preserve memories, but they can also be SO time consuming. I found that by defining goals for my books ahead of time and keeping those goals simple to attain, I was much more likely to actually follow through. For my iPhone 365 I found a simple book template at Paper Coterie where I could to drag and drop my daily photos into a quarterly book. You might want to instead make photo books to document a specific event (a birthday party, vacation, holiday, etc…) or a certain theme (an ABC book, a color book, a number book, etc…) I am also totally in LOVE with these personalized board book templates from Pint Sized Productions and so want to publish one in the near future.
Create a Photo Wall
My daughter also loves that we’re surrounded in our home by loving images of her as a baby being loved on by all the special people in her life. Getting images on the walls does not have to equal creating some elaborate wall arrangement in your home (however it can if you’d like it to!) I personally love ‘going big’ with canvas prints in our home, and I enjoy creating storyboard collages on the website PicMonkey that can be printed, framed, and hung around the house too. I’ve got some great inspiration over at Pinterest for getting photos off the computer and on the walls, come take a look if you’re in need of some more ideas.
If you have little ones around, getting photos onto their toys can be a terrific way to familiarize them with their favorite people while they play. These photo blocks would be the perfect way to do just that! Print your images, slip them in the plastic sleeves, and they’re ready for stacking!
Keep it Digital (for now)
If all else fails and you just can’t’ seem to get those photo printed right now, at the very least try getting them into a digital album to enjoy or share with family and friends. I’m currently loving the Mooklet iPhone app for this very purpose. Choose your photos, add some text, and share away!
If you’re like me and are constantly pushing your photo projects farther and farther down the to do list, I challenge you to choose one of these projects and start TODAY. I promise you won’t regret it once you see the sparkle in your child’s eye and the smile on their face from seeing images of themselves, their family, and friends.
Today tell me in the comments: When was the last time you did something with all of the photos sitting on your hard drive? Do you and your child(ren) look at photos together? Do you have favorite books or albums that light you up? I’d love to hear about your experience below.
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.